Has Netflix Regained its Crown?

It looks like Netflix is the king of original content this month, right? Well, yes and no. It’s true that Netflix had the most original content of all the streaming services in January. That said, the streaming service provider didn’t have as many originals as it did during October of last year. So yes, Netflix started out the new year as the king of original content, but its days on the throne might be in question. Meanwhile, another streaming service has proven itself to be the king of content overall. So much for starting 2019 quietly!

Netflix’s original series and movies are a constant source of debate between Stuart Sweet and myself. (He’s a streamer, he just doesn’t realize it yet.) I think Netflix’s compelling originals are what makes the “big red one” my favorite source of entertainment. Stuart, on the other hand, is a little less impressed with Netflix’s efforts, and each day he becomes more disenchanted with it. I won’t allow the grouch to dampen my spirits, though, especially after Netflix came out strong with original shows this month.

Consider these numbers for January 2019 releases on the three biggest streaming services:

  1. Netflix: 77 new releases/37 new originals/48% originals
  2. Amazon Prime: 29 new releases/5 new originals/17% originals
  3. Hulu: 213 new releases/1 new original show/0.4% originals

If you’re a lover of original content, you can’t deny that Netflix’s numbers are impressive compared to Amazon Prime and Hulu. There’s one problem, though. Netflix might have beaten out two big competitors, but the streaming service wasn’t able to top its own numbers for original content. Back in October of last year, I reported that more than 55% of Netflix’s new releases were originals. That percentage accounted for 48 new shows. The month before that, Netflix had 52% original content.

Is the Crown Slipping?

I think that’s something Stuart might ask based on the number of Netflix originals in January. He would be quick to remind me that in September 2016, Netflix promised to have original movies and TV shows make up half of its catalog. With this month’s numbers, the streaming service isn’t quite there yet; but, 48% is very close to half. Also, Netflix set an ambitious goal for itself, and such things take time. I choose to ignore that tiny voice in my head – my inner Stuart Sweet, so to speak – when I say that Netflix had a respectable showing for itself this month.

King of Content Overall

Since I suspect Stuart will “go there,” I might as well say it: Hulu takes the crown for King of Content this month. Although the streaming service only had one new original release, it has 212 other shows to choose from. That’s 136 more shows, counting originals, than Netflix released, and 184 more than Amazon Prime. A content curator is Stuart’s idea of the ideal streaming service, so I’m guessing he’s a fan of Hulu.

I don’t have Hulu in my home, but now I wish I did. After reading through this month’s releases, there are at least five movies from the 1908s that I’d like to see again. Newsflash, these shows are not available on Netflix. They might be on Amazon Prime, but I’d likely have to pay extra to watch them there. While I’m trying to keep “’80s Movie Night” going at my house, I’m sure that Mrs. Buckler would chafe at these added household expenses.

What Needs to Happen…

… All three of these streaming service providers can step up their games. The numbers tell me that Netflix needs to increase both its original content and curated content. It’s even more imperative that Amazon Prime needs to do the same. It wouldn’t kill Hulu to invest in more original series and movies, too. There’s only so much mileage the streaming service is going to get out of The Handmaid’s Tale.

My recommendations are a kind of perfect world scenario. I get it. It takes time and money to achieve the goals I suggested, and that can be dangerous territory. Raises our monthly subscription rates is the easiest way for these providers to do the things I’ve suggested. I’m pretty sure most of us wouldn’t want that!

Want to Stream?

Use the AirTV Player. This streaming device from DISH works with Sling TV, which provides a wide variety of national TV channels. You also can add a subscription Amazon Prime, Netflix, or Hulu – or all three if you choose – to this streaming service. So far, so good, right? Hold on, because it gets even better. When you connect your AirTV Player to a TV antenna, you get most or all of the free local TV channels in your area. The DISH AirTV Player truly gives you the ability to stream a huge amount of available content.

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